Kahuna Smiled on Espo’s Contest

Tropical Storm Leslie had been inching north and east, hovering around Bermuda for days
Clean lines of surf generated by Tropical Storm Leslie made for perfect conditions during Sunday's Espo's summer classic surfing competition at Ditch Plain, Montauk, on Sunday Morgan McGivern

   A surf contest is a crap shoot in that it is dependent on ocean swells that in turn depend on distant storms formed by weather patterns controlled by sun spots, upper atmospheric winds, global warming, and ultimately by Kahuna, god of surf.
    Kahuna smiled at Ditch Plain Beach in Montauk on Sunday. Tropical storm Leslie had been inching north and east, hovering around Bermuda for days. Organizers of the annual Espo’s Summer Surf Classic, a contest sanctioned by the Eastern Surfing Association, stayed glued to their Magic Seaweed and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sites hoping the arrival of Leslie’s swells would coincide with the date of the competition. They did.
    It was a south swell due to Leslie’s position relative to Montauk. On Sunday, Leslie’s long lines reached the rock reef at Ditch Plain to produce overhead waves with a perfect offshore wind to groom them.
    Sunday’s contest results are:
    Menehune (pronounced men-a-hunee) is Hawaiian for little people. Chase Lieder took first place in the menehune short board division. Brook Esposito and Ian Brightenbeck took second and third respectively.
    In the boys short board competition, Jared Bono, Joseph Graham, and Eric Perez finished one, two, three.
    Patrick Vita, Steven Cahn, and Brandon Gardner were the first, second, and third-place winners of the junior men’s shortboard surf-off.
    In the men’s shortboard contest, Jake Stiles took first place. Jonathan Cahn and Trevor Lecaros finished second and third.
    Craig Lieder of Montauk took top honors in the senior men’s shortboard contest with Mike Becker finishing right behind him, and Patrick Mahoney surfed his shortboard to a win in the grandmasters division.
    Every sport has its legends and Ed Fawess has certainly earned the title on Long Island as a surfer, as well as a surfboard shaper and glasser. He won first place in the legend competition for shortboard surfing.
    In the girls competition, Liz Kohler took first place, Maggie Purcell, second. Selena Moberly and Erin Kohler grabbed first and second places in junior women’s. Lorraine Costa, Liz Quinn, and Kim Romagnesi placed first, second, and third in the contest for senior women.
    In the longboard events, Jared Bono grabbed first place in the menehune contest, Brandon Gardner took first among the junior men, Craig Leider finished first in the masters competition, and Fawess was again the top legend on his longboard. Erin Kohler returned with her longboard to take first place among the junior women, and Liz Quinn took first place in the senior women’s contest.
    In the “sponge” (bodyboard) contest, Chase Lieder took first with Tim Keynborg, and Patrick Maloney finishing second and third.
    Craig Lieder carved his standup paddleboard to the number one spot in the SUP competition. Mark Angillilo and Edgar Lituma finished second and third.